Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    966
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Beware - SBC email filtering

    Anyone using SBC as their ISP or to host their domain would be wise to keep an eye on their email. On July 4th, SBC implemented an ISP based spam filtering. I had been scratching my head wondering the last few days why I suddenly wasn't getting some regular email newsletters (about 8!). After a few days of back and forth and testing, I called SBC and discovered that they had implemented this new spam filter "feature" WITHOUT NOTIFYING ANYONE. Similarly, just this past June, they suddenly implemented rDNS checking on incoming email without notification, which led to a lot of people not getting their mail and a number of newspaper stories. Finally, they were forced to remove this new "functionality" a few weeks later.

    With this spam filtering, they claim to be still "tweaking" the filters. What I can't understand is why they are doing their "tweaking" with live user mail in real time. I tried to send them a copy of a good mail that they should not be rejecting but I couldn't even get it to tech support. It got rejected at the email server! So how do they "tweak" filters without user feedback on what is or is not spam?

    SBC does not present a notification to the user than any mail was blocked as spam. There are no user controls in their software, no way to opt-out, no way to exclude an account, no "spam bucket" to retrieve rejected mail from! All they do is a simple bounce-back to whomever sent the mail with this "illuminating" error:

    **************************************
    SMTP error from remote mailer after end of data:
    host mail-fwd.mx.sbc-webhosting.com [161.58.18.5]:
    554 Denied
    **************************************

    Pretty damm useless, right? Most distributors who get a message like this just delete the user. They aren't going to run around and try and notify people that mail to them got rejected. So it may be weeks or months before a user realizes that he hasn't gotten some newsletter he subscribed to. Then he has to try and chase down what is going on. Fortunately for me, I use a mail forwarding service for all my newsletters and subscriptions, so I was able to change the forward-to address from my pop3 address on SBC to a webmail account. However, I can't easily save those newsletters in the folders I have set up in my pop3 Outlook mailbox.

    I requested that SBC turn off their spam filtering UNTIL they have a user interface in place to allow people to "opt-out" of this feature or to control it better. They flat-out told me that is not going to happen. I finally got a supervisor to tell me that they expected to have some sort of user interface in 2-3 weeks (MAYBE). So I called the PUC in California today. They told me they couldn't do anything but forwarded me to SBC Executive Complaints office, where I was told that they have been getting other complaints on this also. I filed a formal complaint with them. The Executive Office telephone number is: 800.403.3302

    Just like the U.S. Post Office, I believe than an ISP has a contractual requirement to deliver all mail addressed to the user, UNLESS the user has explicitly given his permission to the ISP to pre-screen his mail for spam. IMO, it is the users responsibility to protect themselves from spam mail, not the ISP's. Wonder if some lawyer is interested in starting a class-action suit against SBC on this issue?

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,572
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 926 Posts

    Re: Beware - SBC email filtering

    Good luck. Many (maybe almost all) the big ISPs are or are about to implement spam filters. With the volume of spam it's inevitable. I agreea about an opt-in/out process being desirable. I don't want any ISP deciding what is spam for me. It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these guys is sued because a client loses a big contract because of a spam filter.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Beware - SBC email filtering

    Are these pages about a "bulk mail folder" not yet implemented, or are you in an area where SBC is doing something different?

    SBC Yahoo! > Help > SBC Yahoo! Mail Abuse
    What is the Bulk Mail Folder?
    How do you know which messages to send to my Bulk Mail Folder?
    How do I read the messages in my Bulk Mail Folder?
    <A target="_blank" HREF="http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/sbc/dsl/mail/spam/spam-12.html">What if I don

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    966
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Beware - SBC email filtering

    I have my domain name hosted by SBC, so this is different than their Yahoo partner residential service. I know the new spam filters applies to all their hosted domains with email service and I believe it applies to anyone who did not switch to Yahoo (still on the old pacbell mail servers).

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    966
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Beware - SBC email filtering

    These are a list of my newsletters that I have so far identified that SBC is erroneously blocking as spam. I believe there are others but I'll have to do more checking.

    - Research Buzz
    - Venture Alert
    - The Onion
    - About.com Invent
    - INVA newsletter (Invention club news)
    - Thomas Register
    - Red Herring
    - Wired magazine newsletter

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •